15 March 2021
RE: Update re Personal Belongings and Data
Following our last update to members please see email below sent by the General Secretary of Mandate to Andrew O’Leary KPMG on behalf of Debenhams Members regarding their personal belongings and data:
Since last Friday 12th March 2021 you have received two emails from my colleague Michael Meegan along with numerous others from individual ex Debenhams workers in respect of the above mentioned. Regrettably as you have chosen not to respond thus far I am left with no option but to write accordingly.
The issue of access to personal belongings and data has been raised formally both in writing and verbally with KPMG on numerous occasions during the course of the current industrial dispute. Notwithstanding the reasonable requests made on behalf of the ex-Debenhams workers you have declined to accede to them.
Of course the matter takes on an entirely different perspective now that we have reliable information that the personal belongings and data are potentially in the near future going to be either handled or destroyed in a manner not in keeping with the wishes of the ex-Debenhams workers and indeed statutory requirements. Unless, as the body legally responsible, you can provide assurance and proof by return that this indeed is not the case, then we and the workers concerned will be left with no alternative but to issue appropriate proceedings, including but not limited to, referral/s to the Data Protection Commissioner.
Mandate Trade Union”
Response from KPMG
There are two different issues below
Any employee data, personal information or forms contained on the systems we will endeavour to provide anything requested by the former employees (and there have been a number of requests from employees received to date).
Items in lockers – I am not sure how these could be considered to fall within the definition of data. In any event we have not destroyed any items and will not be destroying any items from lockers and we will be in contact in the coming weeks to ensure that any items contained within them are returned to the employees where they wish to receive them and a system will be put in place for this.
Mandate will keep members informed of any further updates as they become available.